Torquay-based gypsy brewer Valhalla Brewing has announced it will open a tap room in Geelong.
Owner of Valhalla Brewing Scott Hunt started the Great Ocean Road brewery two and a half years ago. He subsequently opened a distribution business, Lotus Beer Collective, in order to support Valhalla as well as distribute other craft beers in Victoria. Hunt says Lotus has taken on a life of its own and has even outgrown the brewing side of the business.
Valhalla beers are currently gypsy brewed across three production facilities in Victoria.
“We brew mostly down at Aireys Inlet at Rogue Wave, we also brew quite a bit up at Social Bandit in Mansfield and we do some brewing at Craft & Co in Collingwood,” Hunt explained.
“We do have plans to open our own brewery one day but we kind of got sick of waiting for the right opportunity to come up and decided to jump in and open a tap room.”
“We’ll open the brewery when the right location and opportunity comes up.”
The tap room will open in the Geelong CBD, where fellow Great Ocean Road craft brewery Blackman’s Brewery has also opened a tap room. Hunt said that while the business is Torquay-based, he felt that Geelong was a good opportunity for Valhalla.
“We have gained a good following of the last two and a half years in the Geelong region and in Melbourne, and so we just felt like Geelong was ready for more of this kind of thing.”
“We feel that Geelong is evolving now to the point where it can definitely cope with more independent beer on tap.”
Initially, the tap room will have eight taps that Hunt hopes to eventually double. He plans to have four Valhalla beers and a mixture of four other beers that Lotus distributes. Hunt also plans to apply for a full general licence, which will allow him to range a broader variety of packaged products in the bottle shop for takeaway.
“The fridges will give us the opportunity to have packaged product outside of the Lotus portfolio as well,” he explained.
Valhalla’s core range beers include an IPA, a Black IPA and a Golden Ale, with everything else launched as a seasonal or single-release. Most of the beers are now packaged in 440ml cans, except for its Golden Ale, which is still in bottle as its biggest seller.
Hunt said his favourite release is still the Valhalla Obsidian Black IPA. His first commercial release, the Obsidian still rates as the best Valhalla beer on Untapped and is the beer Hunt feels the brewery is best known for.
“It’s the family favourite,” he said.
Contrary to what most people pin to the Valhalla brand, the bar itself will not be Viking themed. Instead, Hunt said he just wants a relaxed vibe.
“I want people to walk in and feel like they’re walking into someone’s lounge room.”
“The bar will be a central focus… where people can come and enjoy some good independent beer and we’ll have a good vinyl selection as well.”
Valhalla beers are currently available throughout Victoria, at a few locations in Adelaide and it has just appointed a sales representative for Sydney and NSW and is about to send some product up to Brisbane.